My weekend break in the Lake District: from Beatrix Potter to Lancaster [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7]


There is much history belonging to Hawkshead, from the ruins of Hawkshead Hall which was built by Medieval monks, to St Michael’s Church situated on the hill overlooking Hawkshead and parts of the lake. I decided to make my way up there, climbing the hundreds of steps to the top. That was enough exercise for me. I was unable to step inside the church but the cemetery next door to it was enough. Some of the gravestones dated back to the mid-1800s and even the late 1700s. I sat on a bench in the cemetery for a while, taking a few more photographs. What I was planning to do with these photographs I had no idea. I’d kept the camera in the car after I’d been taking a few snaps of musicians whilst out working as a journalist, but I didn’t expect to see Paul McCartney pop out from behind a gravestone anytime soon.
       My next stop in Hawskhead was the Beatrix Potter Gallery. Not only did Beatrix Potter write her stories at Hill Top but she also wrote many in Hawskhead itself. Here I found the original illustrations from the author’s books, as well as many of her watercolours and sketches. It was a valuable experience and I would have recommended it to anyone visiting Hawkshead. Away from the gallery, I sat on a bench in the village centre eating a sausage roll I bought from a small delicatessen. Afterwards, I took a few more photographs of the village itself before the battery threatened to run out.
     Where to now? Since I’d been to Windermere and enjoyed the boat trip, to Sawrey and through Beatrix Potter’s home and garden, to Hawskhead to appreciate St Michael’s Church and the artwork in the Beatrix Potter Gallery, I decided it was about time to take a trip to a larger area and decided upon Lancaster, since my brother had attended the university there twenty years ago. Instead of passing down through Windermere once again, I decided to broaden my journey of the Lake District by taking the road down by Coniston Water. It was a long drive down but the views from the road of Coniston were amazing, as once again the sun was shining upon the water. I almost became lost at the fork in the road at Torver and then again at Greenodd. Thank God for the Sat Nav.
      I came into Lancaster via the North. Seeing as the weather was getting better by the hour, I decided that a walk around the city would be the best thing to do. The city itself is rather small, rather more like a town, with cobbled streets and small, old fashioned entries. I made my way up towards the canal, where I found a small pub called the The Water Witch. Sitting outside, I enjoyed the first pint of beer I’d had in a long time and a huge cheese platter. I must have looked extremely greedy with the whole platter to myself, but since I didn’t know anyone around, I happily tucked in. Later, I took a walk along the canal, walking away from the city itself and down through quiet parts of the countryside. Worrying I would become lost, I turned back, passing the colourful barges and squawking ducks. I’d had enough of ducks that day but gladly these ducks seemed to be happily fattened up as they didn’t beg me for pieces of bread unlike the Windermere moorhens.
     Back in my car, I noticed the missed call on my mobile. On closer inspection, I had in fact had five missed calls, all from the editor of NME whom we liked to call Ed, although his real name was…well, I’d forgotten because I’d been too used to call him by his nickname. Sighing, I decided to ring him back....

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